Energy Matters Video News – Episode 60 – February 29, 2012

Presented by Energy Matters team member Virginia, we take a look at some of the stories from Australia and around the world recently added to our renewable energy news section.
Virginia reports on Mars Rover Opportunity’s solar panels covered in dust but still delivering power, Lucy Lawless; the actress who played Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess, arrested after participating in Greenpeace action, BP bails on Moree Solar Farm and a new solar farm for Mars Chocolate North America.


In this episode:
– An amazing image from NASA’s Mars exploration rover Opportunity shows a huge amount of dust coating the rover’s solar panels, which are still functioning. Opportunity is settled in for a harsh Mars winter and the rover has been angled for favourable electricity production to keep its batteries recharged and to power its heating systems. While stationary for the next few months, it will continue to carry out experiments when possible. Read more.
– BP has exited the Moree Solar Farm consortium, part of Australia’s Solar Flagships initiative. Spain based renewable energy company Acciona  SA has stepped in to replace BP, and will provide engineering and construction services to the project. Acciona is also the company behind the Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm project, to be constructed in Victoria, as well as several other wind farms in Australia. Read more.
– Actress Lucy Lawless and other Greenpeace protestors were arrested after stopping an Arctic bound Shell drill ship from leaving port in New Zealand. Ms. Lawless said the world needs to start switching to renewable energy now and that we don’t have to go to the end of the earth to suck out every last drop of oil. Read more.
– Mars Chocolate North America has unveiled a new 4.4 acre solar garden installed at the company’s factory in Nevada. 2,112 ground mounted solar panels will provide 100 percent of the electricity required by a plant at the facility during operating hours. The installation will generate over a thousand megawatt hours each year, as much energy as 115 Nevada households use annually. Read more.